A Socket wrapper that provides simple framing protocol
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Frap - Framing Wrapper

On the receiver socket, the buffer from each individual 'data' event is not guaranteed to be the same as the Buffer sent by the senders write() call. To get that you must use a Framing Protocol between the sender and receiver (see FRAMING_PROTOCOLS.md).

This Frap module provides just a framing protocol.

Example: Send a JSON object


var svr = net.createServer().listen(7000)

svr.on('connection', function(sk){
  var frap = new Frap(sk)
  frap.on('data', function(buf) {
    //simple echo


var msg = {cmd: "print", args: ["hello", "world"]}
  , sk = net.createConnection(7000, function() {
  , frap = new Frap(sk)

  frap.on('data', function(buf) {
    var recv_msg = JSON.parse(buf.toString('utf8'))
    console.log("recv:", msg)

  frap.write(JSON.stringify(msg), 'utf8')

Example: Send a file


var sk = net.connect(PORT, function(){
  var frap = new Frap(sk)
    , basename = path.basename(FILENAME)
    , namebuf = new Buffer(basename, 'utf8')

  function sendFile(frap, filename, filesize) {
    var rstream = fs.createReadStream(filename)
      , wstream = frap.createWriteStream(filesize)
    wstream.once('close', function(){
      log("file, %s, sent", filename)
      log("closing socket")

  sendFile(frap, FILENAME, FILESTAT.size)


var svr = net.createServer(PORT, function(sk){
  var frap = new Frap(sk)

  var state = 'filename'
    , filename
  frap.on('data', function (buf) {
    if (state !== 'filename') return

    filename = buf.toString('utf8')
    log("using filename, %s", filename)

    state = 'filedata'
  frap.on('header', function (rstream, framelen) {
    if (state !== 'filedata') return

    var dl_filename = path.join(DL_DIR, filename)
      , wstream = fs.createWriteStream(dl_filename)

    rstream.once('close', function(){
      state = 'filename'



Constructor Frap(sk, [options])

sk is usually a net.Socket, but it can be any read/write Stream.

options is an optional argument. It must be an object. The following properties are recognized:

  • emit is either 'data', 'frame', or 'basic'. It defaults to 'data'.

    If you set it to 'basic' buffers will not be accumulated to emit 'frame' and/or 'data' events. There is two reasons for this: First, for a large frame, megabytes or gigabytes large, the Frap object would have to collect the incoming Buffers until a complete frame was received. Second, in order for a 'data' event to be emitted those collected buffers would have to be joined into a new, rather large, Buffer; an expensive operation.


  • draining

    Has value true when waiting for a 'drain' event, false otherwise.

  • writing

    Has value true if this.draining or a WriteFrameStream is active, false otherwise.


  • Event: 'data'

    function (buf) { }

    Where buf is a single Buffer object.

    'data' events are the same as 'frame' events except that they have had the buffers concatenated into a single buffer. This concatenation operation is expensive so if there is no listeners for 'data' events the concatenation will not occur.

    write() is the complement of 'data' events.

    Disabled if options.emit === 'basic' or 'frame' passed to constructor.

  • Event: 'frame'

    function (bufs, framelen)

    Where bufs is an array of Buffer objects. and framelen is an integer number of bytes of the frame size and the sum of the lengths of each of the Buffer objects in bufs.

    sendFrame() is the complement of 'frame' events.

    Disabled if options.emit === 'basic' is passed to constructor. You might want to disable 'frame' events to stop this library from accumulating very large number buffers in memory for very large frames.

  • Event: 'header'

    function (framelen) { }

    Emitted when a header is encountered in the input stream.

    Typically you only listen to this event when you want to treat an incoming frame as a stream. You do that by calling createReadFrameStream() inside the handler for this event.

  • Event: 'part'

    function (buf, pos, framelen) { }

    Emitted for each buffer in the input stream. pos is the position where the buffer starts within the frame. framelen is for the current processing frame.

    Typically end users do not listen to this event.

  • Event: 'drain'

    function () { }

    Emitted when the source stream flushes all the pending writes.

  • Event: 'error'

    function (err) { }

    A simple pass thru of any 'error' event from the input data stream.

  • Event: 'end'

    function () { }

    Emitted when end() is called.

  • Event: 'close'

    function (had_error) { }

    Emitted when destroy() is called.

Frap Methods

  • sendFrame(buf0, buf1, ..., bufN)

    Arguments buf0, buf1, ..., bufN are Buffer objects. The lengths of these buffers are summed to determine the frame length.

    This is can be more efficient than concatenating these buffers and using write() to send the whole large buffer as one frame.

Stream Methods

  • write(buf)

  • write(str, enc)

    Write a new frame with buf.length as the frame length.

  • setEncoding(enc)

    Inherited from FrapReader. All 'data' events will be converted from Buffer to String via Buffer#toString(enc).

  • pause()

    Suspend emitting 'data', 'frame', 'header' or 'part' events. It will also call pause() on the underlying source stream (sk from the constructor).

  • resume()

    Resume emitting 'data', 'frame', 'header' or 'part' events. It will also call resume() on the underlying source stream (sk from the constructor).

  • pipe(dst)

    A specialized pipe for Frap objects. If dst is a Frap object, then the current Frap object will be piped into the dst Frap object using ReadFrameStream and WriteFrameStream, rather than buffering up an entire frame and writing that into the dst object. This is much more space efficient, though potentially slower until the frames get large enough where the Read/WriteFrameStream overhead is less than the Buffer#concat() overhead.

    If dst is not an instanceof Frap, then it will use the default Stream pipe implementation.

  • end()

    Stop the Frap object from emitting any new 'data', 'frame', 'header' or 'part' events and allow any unsent data to drain.

  • destroy()

    Close this Stream regardless of any unsent data. Emit a 'close' event.

  • destroySoon()

    Close this Stream. Allow any unsent data to drain. Then Emit a 'close' event.

Misc Methods

  • createReadFrameStream(framelen)

    Create and return a RFrameStream object. Only one may exist at a time for each Frap object, otherwise it will throw an AssertionError.

  • createWriteFrameStream(framelen)

    Create and return a WFrameStream object. Only one may exist at a time for each Frap object, otherwise it will throw an AssertionError.

FrapReader (Frap inherits from FrapReader)

  • parse(buf)

    Parse Buffer, buf, and emit resulting 'data', 'frame', 'header', and 'part' events.